Professor Lisa Webley

Professor Lisa Webley

Birmingham Law School
Chair in Legal Education and Research
Head of Birmingham Law School

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Lisa Webley’s research concerns the regulation, education and ethicality and professionalism of the legal profession, and broader access to justice and rule of law concerns. She has been the Principal Investigator on several large research projects and has undertaken funded empirical research for public bodies and organisations including the European Commission; the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Trade and Industry. She is head of research in CEPLER.

Lisa is General Editor of Legal Ethics and Co-Director of the Legal Education Research Network. She holds visiting professorships at the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University Australia and at the University of Portsmouth, and has been a visiting scholar at Melbourne University and Hong Kong University. She holds a Senior Research Fellowship at IALS, University of London. She is co-author (with Harriet Samuels) of the Complete Public Law: Text, Cases and Materials (OUP) and Legal Writing (Routledge). She was awarded the OUP Law Teacher of the Year prize 2016. 


  • PhD (Lond) 
  • MA (Higher Education) (Westmin)
  • MA (Legal Practice) (Westmin)
  • PgDiplLP (CoL Chester)
  • LLB Hons (Law with French) (Birm)
  • DiplEJF (Limoges) 
  • Cert Soc (Birkbeck)


Lisa Webley SFHEA FRSA GCILEx  joined Birmingham Law School at the beginning of 2018 and is the research lead in the Centre on Professional and Legal Education Research (CEPLER).She has carried out funded empirical research for a number of public bodies and organisations including: the European Commission; the Ministry of Justice (formerly the Department for Constitutional Affairs); the Department for Trade and Industry; the Law Society of England and Wales; the Legal Services Commission; the Legal Services Board; and the Victoria Law Foundation Australia.  She also undertakes academic and professional consultancy work, including consultancy for City law firms and for legal regulators.  

She held a full-time research position at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (1995-2000), followed by Senior (2000-2003) and Principal Lectureships (2003-2007), and a Readership (2007-2011) at the University of Westminster; she was the Chair in Empirical Legal Studies from 2011-2017.  She was also the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Law School (2003-2007), and then Faculty Research Director for Social Sciences and Humanities across the faculty (2013-2017). She was also Director of the Centre on the Legal Profession. 

Lisa has also taught previously at Birkbeck College and the University of Exeter. She has held a number of visiting positions: Visiting Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney Australia (2002) and the Victoria Law Foundation, Melbourne Australia (2004); Adjunct Professor on the Dickinson Penn State School of Law semester abroad programme (2004 & 2005); Visiting Professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, Ohio USA (2007); Visiting Professor on the University of Stetson JD programme (2008-2016). She was formerly a director and trustee of the Hackney Law Centre and a member of the Academic Committee of the Civil Mediation Council.


Professor Webley teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by Birmingham Law School, currently public law and lawyer regulation. She has previously taught comparative constitutional law, family law, legal skills, the English legal system and research methods, with occasional classes on dispute resolution in a civil and family law context. She is Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ two-week intensive Introduction to Legal and Empirical Research Methods course for MPhil/PhD students and involved in the National Law PhD Training Programme. She provides empirical research methods training at a number of leading universities world-wide.

  • Public Law
  • Lawyer Regulation

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Webley supervises students undertaking empirical socio-legal research.  She is keen to hear from candidates who wish to undertake research on:

  • Lawyer regulation, education, professionalism and legal ethics
  • Legal service delivery and the impact of technology
  • Access to justice and family justice
  • Public law and practice.

Find out more - our PhD Law  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

Other activities

  • Member of the Law Society of England and Wales’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Member of the Ministry of Justice’s Research Advisory Group on Developing Financial Guidelines for Divorcing Couples
  • Member of the Interlaw Diversity Forum and the Apollo Diversity Awards Judging Panel
  • Member of the University of Westminster Press Board
  • On the Editorial Advisory Boards of: The International Journal of the Legal Profession; The Law Teacher; Mediation Theory and Practice.


Books and Published Research Reports

  • Sommerlad H. and Webley, L., Duff, L. Muzio, D., Tomlinson, J. (2013) Diversity in the Legal Profession in England and Wales: A Qualitative Study of Barriers and Individual Choices (London: University of Westminster Law Press), first published 2010, reissued 2013 with Legal Services Board Foreword.
  • Webley, L. (2010) Adversarialism and Consensus? The Professions’ Construction of Solicitor and Family Mediator Identity and Role (New Orleans: Quid Pro Books LLC) pp. 214.
  • Duff, L. and Webley, L. (2004) Equality and Diversity: Women Solicitors Research Study 48 Volume II Law Society Research Study Series (London: The Law Society) pp. 64.
  • Moorhead, R., Sherr, A., Webley, L., Rogers, S., Sherr, L., Paterson, A. and Domberger, S. (2001) Quality and Cost: Final Report on the Contracting of Civil Non-Family Advice and Assistance Pilot (Norwich: The Stationery Office) pp. xii, 237.


  • Webley, L. (2016) Legal Writing 4th ed (London: Routledge Publishing); (2013) 3rd ed; (2009) 2nd ed; (2005) 1st ed.
  • Webley, L. and Samuels, H. (2015) Complete Public Law: Text Cases and Materials 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press); (2012) 2nd ed; (2009) 1st ed.

Other Formally Published Research Reports

  • Bacquet S. and Webley L. (2006) A Review of How Other Countries Provide Advice to the Vulnerable on Consumer and Social Issues (London: Department of Trade and Industry) pp. 54.
  • Webley, L., Abrams, P. and Bacquet, S. (2004) Report on the Evaluation of the Birmingham Court-based Civil Mediation Scheme (London: The Department for Constitutional Affairs) pp. 169.
  • Webley, L. (1999) A Review of the Literature on Family Mediation for England and Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, France and the United States (London: Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct) pp. 137. 

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Collections

  • Webley, L. (2018) ‘Great Debates in Gender and the Legal Profession’ in Auchmuty, R. (ed) ‘Great Debates in Gender and Law (Palgrave MacMillian) anticipated publication April 2018.
  • Webley, L. (2017) ‘When is mediation mediatory and when is it really adjudicatory? Religion, Norms and decision-making’ in Bano, S. and Pierce, J.L. (ed) Mediation and Religious Arbitration: Thinking through issues of Gender Equality and Justice in Family Law Disputes (University Press of New England).
  • Webley L. and Duff, L. (2017) ‘Chapter 7: Diversity and Inclusion As the Key to Innovation in Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms’ in T. Mortensen (ed) Law Firms” in Mottershead, T. (ed) Innovating Talent Management in Law Firms (NALP, 2017).
  • Webley, L. (2016) “Stumbling Blocks in Empirical Legal Research: Case Study Research” Journal of Law and Method open access:
  • Webley, L., Tomlinson, J. Sommerlad, H., Muzio, D. and Duff, L. (2016) ‘Access to a Career in the Legal Profession in England and Wales: Race, Class and the Role of Educational Background’ in R. Nelson, S. Headworth, R. Dinovitzer, D.Wilkins (eds) Diversity in Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
  • Webley, L. (2015) ‘European Citizenship, Freedom, Security, Justice and Equality’ in Pais, S (ed) European Citizenship Challenges and Opportunities (Universidade Catolica Editora, Porto, 2015) pp. 143-162.
  • Webley, L. (2015) ‘Legal Professional De(Re)Regulation, Equality, And Inclusion, And The Contested Space Of Professionalism Within The Legal Market In England And Wales’ 83 (5) Fordham Law Review 2349-2367.
  • Webley, L. (2015) ‘Chapter 17 When is a Family Lawyer, a Lawyer?’ in M. Maclean, J. Eekelaar, B. Bastard (eds) Delivering Family Justice in the 21st Century (Hart Bloomsbury, 2015) 305-321.
  • Tomlinson, J., Muzio, D., Sommerlad H., Webley, L., and Duff, L., (2013) ‘Structure, Agency and the Career Strategies of Women and BME Individuals in the Legal Profession’ 66(2) Human Relations 245-269.
  • Webley, L. (2010) ‘Gate-Keeper, Supervisor or Mentor? The Role of Professional Bodies in the Regulation and Professional Development of Solicitors and Family Mediators Undertaking Divorce Matters in England and Wales.’ 32(2) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 119-133.
  • Webley, L. (2010) ‘Part III Doing Empirical Legal Studies Research Chapter 38 - Qualitative Approaches to ELS’ in Cane, P. and Kritzer, H. (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Studies (Oxford University Press) 926-950.
  • Webley, L. (2010) ‘Solicitors as Imagined Masculine, Family Mediators as Fictive Feminine and the Hybridisation of Divorce Solicitors’ in Mortensen, R., Bartlett, F. and Tranter, K. (eds.) Alternative Perspectives on Lawyers and Legal Ethics: Reimagining the Profession (Sydney: Routledge-Cavendish) 132-150.
  • Bacquet, S., Boon, A., Webley, L. and Whyte A. (2009) ‘The Next Generation of Legal Aid Solicitors – The LSC’s Training Grants Scheme’ Buck, A., Pleasence, P. and Balmer, N. (ed.) Reaching Further: Innovation, Access and Quality in Legal Services (London: The Stationery Office) 143-165.
  • Webley, L. (2008) ‘The European Criminal Record in England and Wales’ in Xanthaki, H. and Stefanou, C. (eds.) Towards a European Criminal Record (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 291-307.
  • Webley, L. and Duff, L. (2007) ‘Women Solicitors as a Barometer for Problems within the Legal Profession – Time to Put Values Before Profits?’ Vol. 34 No. 3 Journal of Law and Society 374-402.
  • Webley, L. (2005) ‘Criminal Records and Organised Crime in England and Wales’ in Xanthaki, X. and Stefanou, C. (eds.) Criminal Records and Organised Crime in the EU: Criminal Records as Effective Tools or Missed Opportunities (The Hague: Kluwer Law International) 133-148.
  • Webley, L. (2004) ‘Divorce Solicitors and Ethical Approaches – The Best Interests of the Client and/or the Best Interests of the Family?’ Vol. 7 Part 2 Legal Ethics 231-250.
  • Webley, L. (2001) ‘Comment: Pro Bono and the Young Profession: A View from England and Wales’ in Special Issue: For the Public Good Pro Bono and the Legal Profession in Australia Vol. 19 Law in Context 45-49.
  • Webley, L. (2000) ‘Pro Bono and Young Solicitors: Views from the Front Line’ Vol.3 Legal Ethics 152-168.
  • Mytton, E. and Webley, L. (2000) ‘Families and Violence: Making Difference Visible’ Vol. 7 No. 3 International Journal of the Legal Profession 273-285.
  • Sherr, A. and Webley, L. (1997) ‘Legal Ethics in England and Wales’ Vol. 4 Nos. 1/2   International Journal of the Legal Profession 109-138.
  • Webley, L. (1997) ‘Book Review: Essential Legal Skills – Mediation by Michael Noone’ Vol. 4 Nos. 1/2 International Journal of the Legal Profession 155-157.

Other Articles, Book Chapters, Professional Publications

  • Webley, L. (2016) ‘Interception of communications and legal professional privilege and the rule of law’ Legal Ethics. 19 (1) 173-176.
  • Webley, L. (2016) ‘Developing Students’ Legal Writing Skills’ J. Guth and C Ashford (eds) The Law Academics Handbook (Palgrave).
  • Webley, L. (2016) 'Success is Diversity of Thought, Diversity of Talent' in Apollo Project Architects of Meritocracy available at:
  • Webley, L. (2014) ‘The Former Legal Director of the London Times, Legal Professional Privilege and the Duty Not to Mislead the Court in England and Wales”’ 17 (2) Legal Ethics 310-
  • Webley, L. (2014) ‘Recruitment Bias- is your firm an offender?’ LexisNexis PSL News and Analysis 14th March available at:
  • Webley, L. (2013) ‘United Kingdom: What Robinson v Solicitors Regulation Authority Tells Us about the Contested Terrain of Race and Disciplinary Processes’ 16 (1) Legal Ethics 236-241.• Webley, L. ‘Gender, Hierarchy, Power and Inequality:  What Sociological Theory Adds to our Understanding of Sex-Discrimination’ (2012) Vol. 1 Westminster Law Review 1-6 available at:
  • Webley, L. (2012) ‘Legal Ethics and the Legal Education Training Review: Correspondent’s Report from the United Kingdom’ Vol. 15 (2) Legal Ethics 402-404.
  • Webley, L. (2012) ‘The Legal Education and Training Review: Correspondent’s Report for the United Kingdom’ Vol. 15 (1) Legal Ethics 140.
  • Webley, L. (2011) ‘Law Students as Peer Mentors: Developing the Reflective Practitioner and/or Embedding Legal Learning: Correspondent’s Report from the United Kingdom’ Vol. 14 (2) Legal Ethics 250.
  • Webley, L. (2011) ‘Legal Ethics in the Academic Curriculum: Correspondent’s Report from the United Kingdom’ Vol. 14 (1) Legal Ethics 132.
  • Webley, L. (2011) ‘Diversity in the Legal Profession: A Business or an Ethical Rationale? Correspondent’s Report from the United Kingdom’ Vol.13 (2) Legal Ethics 223.
  • Webley, L. (2008) ‘Paralegals’ in Cane, P. and Conaghan, J. (eds.) New Oxford Companion to Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Webley, L. (2008) ‘The Cost of Claiming and Complaining’ in Cane, P. and Conaghan, J. (eds.) New Oxford Companion to Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Webley, L. (2008) ‘Legal Ethics 2008: report on the 3rd International Legal Ethics Conference’ Autumn Directions in Legal Education 16-17.
  • Webley, L., Abrams, P. and Bacquet, S. (2006) ‘Mediation through the Birmingham Court-based Scheme’ Vol. 9 Part 1 Journal of Housing Law 9-12.
  • A series of pro bono articles in the Law Institute of Victoria’s Journal for the legal profession in Victoria, Australia:
  • Webley, L. (2004) ‘Access Key In The UK’ September Law Institute of Victoria Journal 83.
  • Webley, L. (2004) ‘Legal Aid and Legal Need’ November Law Institute of Victoria Journal 91.
  • Webley, L. (2004) ‘The Loneliness of the Pro Bono Co-ordinator’ December Law Institute of Victoria Journal 92.
  • Webley, L. (1997) ‘HIV/AIDS Discrimination – Why Are There So Few Cases?’ The Litigator.
  • Webley, L. (1997)‘Il Ruolo dei Servizi Giuridici Per Combattere Le Discriminazioni Nei Confronti Delle Persone Sieropositive: L’Esperienza Del Regno Unito’ 315-328, Simeoni, E, Serpelloni, G. and Spiniello, M (eds.) HIV/AIDS Diritti e Responsabilita (Verona: Gruppo C).
  • Webley, L. (1997) ‘European Study of Legal Services for those Affected by HIV/AIDS- Related Discrimination Vol. 3 No. 2/3 Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy and Law 25-26 ISSN:1192-5252/ Webley, L. (1997) ‘Étude européenne sur les service juridiques aux personnes séropsoitives victimes de discrimination.’ Vol. 3, No. 2/3 Bulletin Canadien VIH.SIDA Et Droit 28-29.

View all publications in research portal


Lawyer regulation; equality and diversity in the legal profession; legal education; legal ethics; access to justice; dispute resolution; family justice; AI in relation to law; use of technology in legal services delivery.

Media experience

Interviews with the BBC and with print media including national and international press and legal professional press; contributions to the Huffington Post and The I.


  • Lawyer regulation
  • Equality and diversity in the legal profession
  • Legal education
  • Legal ethics
  • Access to justice
  • Dispute resolution
  • Family justice
  • AI in relation to law 
  • Use of technology in legal services delivery
  • Public understanding of the law and the legal system

Policy experience

Research and consultancy for government departments, public bodies, NGOs and legal businesses in the UK, EU and Australia including: the European Commission; the Ministry of Justice (formerly the Department for Constitutional Affairs); the Department for Trade and Industry; the Law Society of England and Wales; the Legal Services Commission; the Legal Services Board; and the Victoria Law Foundation Australia.